October 6, 2019 - Sermon Notes
MOVING FORWARD: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED
You can listen to this sermon by clicking here or you can read the notes below.
Is there something God has promised you but you can’t get to it because there is a challenge or obstacle in front of you? Is there anything God has asked you to do but you’ve made excuses not to because of fear and weakness?
Fear cripples our ability to believe in God’s promises. As a consequence, instead of:
believing, we question
standing, we ran away
persevering, we quit
trusting, we worry
resting in God, we exhaust ourselves by trying to work our way around the challenge that’s in front of us
Every time fear tries to grip us, it’s the enemy trying to take us down and prevent us from receiving our promises from God. But the spirit of fear is no match for the Spirit of God who lives inside us.
Joshua 1: 1-9
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them, to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates, all the Hittite country, to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
God gave Joshua 3 challenges:
crossing the Jordan river
leading the Israelites into the Promised Land
defeating the enemies living in the land
How do we grab a hold of God's promises in the face of failure and perceived weakness?
1. By being strong and courageous
This helps us take our eyes off of ourselves, our challenges, enemies, and weaknesses - and instead place our focus on God, who is the source of our true strength and courage.
There are over 3,000 promises of God found in His Word. Do you know His promises for you?
2. By being ready
Get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to the Israelites. (Joshua 1: 2)
God’s will for us is never to settle down and get comfortable in the wilderness; not when the promise is on the other side. Satan wants us to remain where we are so we don’t receive what God has promised us.
We may have our own "personal Jordans" that feel so deep, impassable and powerful that we don't even try to make it across.
When God makes a promise to us, there is often a challenge connected with it. And the challenge usually boils down to God asking us “Are you ready to see what I can do?” “Are you ready to trust Me?”
3. By being anchored to God's commitments to us
I will give you every place where you set your foot... (Joshua 1: 3)
No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. (Joshua 1:5)
The Israelites did not enter the Jordan by themselves. The ark went before them. The ark was the symbol of God’s presence with His people. The ark represented Immanuel, God with us, and the lesson for us is we never face our challenges alone.
God is always with us and He is committed to us. Wherever God goes, we must follow, with courage, with readiness and anchored to His commitment to us.
Faith focuses on the promise.
Faith turns a "no way" into a highway!